Google Cardboard hits 5 million shippedCaitlin Sasser
As of yesterday Google has shipped out 5 million Google Cardboard VR viewers. I can only imagine how many DIY or ‘knock off’ versions have been sold also. If you’re not familiar with Google Cardboard let me explain the mechanics of it. Google Cardboard VR viewer is simply a couple pieces of cardboard cut and pre-bent into three or so specific shapes. You bend it into the box shape it specifies and put it together with Velcro, magnets, a couple lenses, and a rubber band. Once it’s made you just close your phone up inside it then simply look into it through the lenses. When using one of the many apps that have been created to go with it you view a 3D virtual reality world. It’s a very cool concept but I’m not convinced it actually worth buying. It seems much more cost effective to just download Google’s instructions and make one yourself. Most people would probably prefer to buy one and do it the easy way but an actual Google Cardboard viewer will cost you between $14.99 and $23.50 according to the google page. There are cheaper DIY versions you can get off EBay or other websites but they’ll still cost you anywhere from $3.00 to $9.00 and in most cases even when you can find it for cheaper they’re getting shipped from overseas countries like china where it’ll take at least a week for you to get it. I’d much rather spend the 3 hours or so it takes to make one from scratch. I know personally I already have most of the materials needed for it around me right now. Not to mention there’s also the sense of pride of being able to hold it up in the end and say “look at this, I made this myself!” Which is much better than spending 3 minutes putting the premade one together and saying “look what I just spent $15.00 on!” in my opinion.
Besides the cardboard device itself Google has definitely started something great. There are multiple apps out now that you can use in the viewer. This concept started off as a single app that you could only download through the google play store, and now there are dozens if not more you can get not only through Google Play but also from the App store on iPhones. You can walk the Great Wall of China, or even go deep sea diving and experience all the undersea creatures. You can ride a roller coaster, or shoot zombies as if they were really in front of you. There are plenty of YouTube videos that work with the viewer to make you feel like you’re right there in front of your favorite musician or band, or watching a skateboarder do awesome tricks. You can watch a painting being done from start to finish if you’re into that, or zoom around a race track all the while never having to leave your couch! More and more new virtual reality apps are popping up every day. As cool as it is, I think I’ll leave the 3D in the movie theaters for now. But it does make me wonder, with Google cardboard picking up popularity does this mean we could be seeing virtual reality games on our gaming consoles sooner rather than later? Or are we still years away from seeing virtual reality on such a larger scale in our homes?